Creating things is Adam Wehsely-Swiczinksky‘s undeniable passion. As a nine year old he had already discovered this interest, that would later act as the basis for defining his future career. As a child, he helped his father build a children’s playground and ever since he has dedicated himself to carpentry and product design. Later in life he developed a fascination for music that led him to design and eventually build his own electric guitar. Adam realized his childhood dream and has succeeded in working on the things he loves the most. Today he goes by many names: he is a carpenter, product designer, instrument maker, and also a musician.
Learning on the job, he taught himself the craft of joinery and opened his own workshop. In order to develop his skills further, he undertook a diploma at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Subsequently, ‘Tyrolia’ – a company that produces skiing equipment – hired him as head of design in ski binding. However, his desire to become self-employed again returned and eventually he founded aws design team, a studio specializing in musical instruments and medical and sports engineering. Not only is the work of this Viennese gentleman functional, but it is also environmentally conscious.
His atelier and music studio are located next to each other in a beautiful courtyard within the second district with his home located only a few steps above. It is here that we visited Adam to find out how he sees a connection between medical, sporting and musical objects.
Almost like alchemists in their laboratory, Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler, demonstrate extremely precisely how their products function within their studio. After having met during their product and furniture design studies, the two designers have worked together very successfully to produce some fascinating creations over the last ten years. During that time the two Austrians have received several national and international awards. One of particular note was the ‘designer of the future’ award presented at Design Miami/Basel. Their work can also be found in the permanent collections of the Art Institute, Chicago, and the MAK, Vienna.
The mischer’traxler studio is located in Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, in the 15th district of Vienna, which had its heydey during the second half of the 19th century with the opening of the Western train station. Later, the area experienced further development with a range of hotels emerging along with the establishment of the centre of the Austrian capital’s textile industry. As the rent in this multicultural neighborhood has remained comparatively quite low, many creative agencies and artistic studios have migrated here: a typical gentrification scenario. Katharina and Thomas who moved to Vienna in 2009, feel very comfortable in this locale and appreciate its special charm. Over coffee and croissants, this design duo discuss how they come up with their innovative ideas, concepts and systems.
A working animal with long ears and grey fur – Lorenz Seidler has chosen the donkey as a his identifying symbol. Why? The Austrian has many explanations for this choice, each with an underlying sense of humor. The intended function of this figure is to depose art from its high throne; to make it accessible without eliminating its essential importance. This is the very reason why Lorenz established the online art calendar eSeL.at.
Through this platform not only does the art blogger inform Viennese locals about the latest art events, he also aims to engage in stimulating dialogues through commentary and imagery. The initial idea resulted in eSeL-Mehl: a weekly contemporary art newsletter. Today, this cultural newsletter remains an important part of Lorenz’s work and, with over 10,000 subscribers, is the most popular in the Austrian Capital.
Aside from online content and activity, Lorenz’s digital venture also has a physical presence. The eSeL-Reception within the Museums Quarter acts as an interface between visual art and net culture that includes an information desk, shop, and temporary media art displays. In addition, he manages the Gazebo gallery which focuses on the active debate of curated projects within public spaces. If all of this wasn’t enough, Lorenz also develops concepts for the art market, MULTImART, in collaboration with ARTmART and METAmARt. While offering a tour of his home in Margareten that he shares with his wife Katrina, their son Cosmo, and two cats Chutney and Muffy, he discusses why this personal space is an art free zone.
The fashion designer Petar Petrov is a bit shy but certainly carries a determined demeanor. Born in the Ukraine, he moved to Vienna in 1999 in order to study fashion at the University of Applied Arts. Back then, little did the Bulgarian know what would await him in this city. During his studies, Petar founded his own label, PETAR PETROV. With simple, innovative and elegant clothes for men, which are are being flaunted in Paris every year, he slowly expanded his client base around the globe and is now also designing fashion for women. Besides Europe, you can find both collections throughout Japan, United States, and China. Thereby he is one of the few fashion designers, who created an international empire.
His atelier is located within a beautiful old building in Vienna. In this space, he works on his upcoming collections, chooses fabrics and prepares for fashion fairs and shows. When he is not working here he can be found next door in his well-lit apartment. This is where he prefers to spend time with friends and share a bottle of good wine or two. Besides being surrounded by his four walls, he likes to visit flea markets and gain inspiration by observing the flow of everyday life and the individuals that make up Austria’s capital.
Together with the long-established company Thonet Germany, the design studio breadedEscalope is developing new design approaches.
‘Democratic Furniture’ focuses on social parameters as decisive factors of the design strategy.
The idea of a “democratic” development process is based on interdisciplinary cooperation. By means of transparent procedures, workshops, discussions and analyses and in cooperation with experts and with the public a new design language is being developed, which exactly defines today’s requirements and takes these into consideration for creating clear designs. The iconic furniture series thus being developed is to be durable, affordable to the mass market and as socially, economically and ecologically sustainable as possible.
departure and the Vienna Business Agency provide funding for the interdisciplinary and integrative design process for creating a new ‘democratic’ furniture line from development to market launch.